With the wording still warm from the 6-day planning Inquiry held shortly before Christmas – a Government Inspector has given Thakeham Homes the go-ahead to build 99 homes in Alfold.
Just remember that it is the Tory Government shafting villages like Alfold – not Waverley Borough Council.
However, we will be writing more about those who must take responsibility for the fine mess that Waverley is now in.
In fact, So quick was Inspector Harold Stephens off the blocks with his decision that the Waverley Web hadn’t the chance to post on the final day of the hearing because another controversial Planning Inquiry overtook it into Red Court at Haslemere.
Happy Harold had evidently made his mind up before turning off his Zoom in the room.
One by one, the Inspector drew a line through ‘Your Waverley’s long list of sites it claimed were deliverable in 5 years of its Local Plan.
However, Harold wasn’t having any of it – and you will see from the decision, which is included below – what he believed was deliverable and what was not.
He then dismissed Waverley’s claim that it had a 5.22-year housing supply and ruled, in his opinion, it did not; it only had,
The sites that the Council includes within the supply cannot be justified applying the current definition of deliverable. The Council’s supply figure of 4,660 dwellings in Table 3 should be reduced to give a more robust total supply figure of 3,575 dwellings for the five year period. Although the Council maintains there is a 5.22 year supply, in my view, there is a housing land supply equivalent to 4.01 years.
So now the tiny village of Alfold on the Surrey/Sussex border is to grow like Topsy – who “just growed and growed.”
Despite it being on the busy A281 – Guildford to ~Horsham Road, and as the Inspector recognised was 15km from the nearest station. However, you will see from his decision Thakeham’s witness convinced him that the roads were safe enough to cycle on, and…
… although concerns were also raised about foul drainage in Alfold. Thames Water has recommended suitably worded conditions to secure the provision of pre- commencement details of additional water supply and foul water infrastructure or an infrastructure delivery plan. In my view these planning conditions address these concerns in a satisfactory manner.
But good old Happy Harold – who only allowed just one single objector to raise her voice for five minutes – yes, a miserable five minutes – couldn’t even spell the name of the village correctly.
I have taken into account all other matters raised including the concerns raised on behalf of Alford Parish Council and the representations made by interested persons including those who gave evidence at the Inquiry and those who provided written submissions. Many of the matters raised such as the scale of the proposed development, the loss of rural character and open countryside, over reliance on the private car and loss of trees are points which I have already dealt with under the main issues.
So there you have it, folks. The Sussex based developer Thakeham Homes wins the day – having lost its previous appeal for 425 homes on the same site in a bid to tip some dosh into The Merchant Seaman’s War Memorial Society’s depleted coffers.
Watch this space because once these 99 homed have been built – 30% of which the developer claims will be ~ “affordable”, what’s the chance that more will follow – and everything we predicted – Alfold joining with Dunsfold to become ALDUN New Town comes true?
If you have queries or feedback about the decision or the way we handled the appeal(s), you should submit them using our “Feedback” webpage at https://www.gov.uk/government/ organisations/planning-inspectorate/about/complaints-procedure.